Limiting Iraqi reconstruction hurts US taxpayers most

Regarding your Dec. 12 editorial, "How Not to Win Friends," you correctly note that the proposed ban on bidding on Iraq reconstruction contracts does not apply to subcontractors.

This exception, however, is not consistent with either of the two stated reasons for the ban: (1) punishing noncooperative nations, and (2) not allowing these nations to reap the benefits of the reconstruction in the interest of taxpayers.

What is consistent is the elimination of competition. Many non-coalition contract bidders are shut out, yet US corporations are still able to turn to these foreign suppliers when making their bids.

This follows the prior pattern of the administration - of removing cost-savings for ordinary taxpayers (by eliminating lower bidders) while granting benefits to the administration's prime supporters.
Deane Leonard
Stanfordville, N.Y.

US workers and manufacturers should receive most of the tax money they are spending in Iraq. Under what principles could countries that did not contribute to this cost possibly be entitled to profit from this effort? I think that additional civilians from other countries would definitely make internal security - the job of the US military - much more difficult.
John Clark
Fort Collins, Colo.

Walking out on the AARP

Regarding your Dec. 11 article, "The point man on AARP's controversial Medicare move": AARP's support of the recent Medicare prescription-drug legislation is a step backward. The bill is not the answer and will further delay an equitable solution to the problem of inflated drug costs. I resigned from AARP as soon as it pledged its support for the bill.
Robert Gindahl
Saginaw, Mich.

Violent video games are made for adults

I was disappointed with the Dec. 10 Editorial "Check Video-Game Violence." Citing the link between video games and obesity was unnecessary.

Obviously any sedentary activity, not only video games (and the oft-cited TV) but also reading and possibly even playing musical instruments could lead to obesity.

Furthermore, there are already fun and imaginative nonviolent video games, such as racing, sports, and musical games. Along with the views of others, your main problem with violent and otherwise "mature" content is how it affects children. What you fail to realize is that video games are not only for children. Games like "Grand Theft Auto" are made for adults, not kids.
Kyla McDonald
Trumansburg, N.Y.

Defending Michael Moore

Regarding your Dec. 10 article, "Anti-US books find an eager audience among German youth": While Michael Moore is certainly very critical of the Bush administration's policies, I don't think it is correct to describe his book as "critical of the US."

The US is not the same as President Bush. One clear message in Mr. Moore's book is he loves his country; that is why he wishes it had leaders he could admire.
Victoria Muehleisen

Justifying adult allowances

Regarding your Dec. 11 article, "40 years old and still tied to Mom and Dad's purse strings": Many parents and grandparents feel sorry for their adult children, who face costs for education, transportation, and housing beyond the means of many middle-income people. If it weren't for these inter-generational transfers of income, few young adults would have a middle-class lifestyle.
George Robertson
Culpeper, Va.

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